16 October 2009

where i hope technology fails...

That sounds like a really negative post title, doesn't it? Well, I don't hope that technology fails, completely. I think that technology is amazing. In fact, yesterday I got an iphone (it was a wedding gift) and I kind of, sort of love it. I don't completely love it, yet, but I think that's because I don't completely know how to use it, you know?  I was just figuring out how to get the most out of my blackberry, and then I suddenly have to change technologies, and carriers, all for a family plan... just kidding. I'm sure it will be worth it. I've been coveting them for quite a while.

But where I (not-so) secretly hope that technology fails us is in the Kindle. I wasn't so opposed to the success of any other forms of technology.  But something about the Kindle just, well, sucks.  One of the best things about reading is the activity behind it.

Going to the bookshelf. Thumbing through all your books to see which one asks you to read it. Holding the weight of the book in your hand. Turning the pages, physically. Feeling like arriving at page 300 is a serious accomplishment, because you gauge how far you've come on this journey with these characters. Being able to, if the mood strikes (or you're reading for serious purposes and not for unabashed enjoyment), underline something. Or make a (sometimes not-so) witty comment, in pencil, that you can erase when you've gotten past your joke. Writing your name inside the book when you're finished.  Finding its home again, next to the rest of these books, all of which you have shared similar experiences with. 

Something about the Kindle really irks me, though. The tablet. The pages that "mimic" turning, the way that the digital cameras make the "click" sound that is just to try to make people feel more involved. The difference, however, is that most people didn't develop their own pictures, or physically imprint the image onto the negative.  They enjoyed them afterwards, and sharing photos between people was exponentially better with digital cameras. 

With digital music, you can still share it really easily with friends. Can you share kindle books? 

I can tell you the physical difference between holding something epic like Ulysses or War and Peace and something like A Christmas Carol (which I love, but I'm just trying to explain the difference in size, so...). Reaching that last page can really feel like an accomplishment. What would I do with a kindle? Set it back on the shelf where I got it? Upload another book? Also, what about crack screens? Or reading a kindle near the beach? If water splashes on a book, the page gets all warped, but does an electronic even survive?

And what about first editions, that have been loved and cherished and used as investments over a long period of time? Is there a "first edition" e-book? I mean, I can see reading a kindle for newspapers, since they use so much paper and they are relatively obsolete the next day. And even for magazines, for the same reason. But books? Come on, people.

12 October 2009

Library Crisis 2009

So, we're moving from Madison to Orange County at the end of the year, because my husband (which still feels really weird to day, since we've been married less than a month) got a job, which in this economy is nothing to shake a stick at and, theoretically, at least, I can dissertate from anywhere. And since my department currently can't offer job security, and even if they could I still exist below the poverty line. So, he took the job offer, which puts him on the career path, and that's great.

But I've been having a lot of anxiety about the move. I think that most of it stems from my fears about leaving the liberal, academic bubble (having gone from Berkeley to Madison has really kept me in that world), and not having a world completely structured around those things that I do.

Especially the fact that I can't get to a library. I like to think that is my biggest problem, because getting a book from another library could be my demise. So I was talking to my advisor about it, and she reassured me that my anxiety was a productive one and gave me a whole list of things to do to inquire about getting borrowing privileges elsewhere. And it made me feel a bit better.

The good, even great news? I went to my campus library's main circulation office and they let me know that since I'll be paying dissertator fees and doing independent study, I'll still be a student and therefore I can use "distance services," something that is FREE and will deliver any book to my house, including a pre-paid return envelope, for free. AND I can request article delivery electronically. And they said that, as far as ILL (inter-library loans) services, our library let's anyone who lives in the area pay like $30 to use the services, so I should be able to find something comparable at the university libraries in the area, at the very least.

And so it made me feel a lot better. Even though I know I'll have to be a lot more disciplined, but I am just relieved to know my options.

- Blogging from BlogPress on my iphone.

03 October 2009

so many engines...

As the internet tries to be more all-encompassing, it forces people to make decisions and selectively include themselves in some networks while simultaneously excluding themselves from others.

for social networks, it started with friendster, myspace, facebook and linkedin. i avoided friendster, then joined the next two and have since all-but-abandoned myspace in favor of facebook. finally, a friend recommended using linkedin as a more professional network, but since i'm not quite into the professional realm yet my profile just sits there, waiting to get hired.

and then cam twitter. which, along with facebook, kind of took over the socially networked internet. then facebook started to change its interface to resemble that of twitter, which i didn't really understand but it's still fine.

now, i've just been on blogger for a while. but there is also wordpress, which is similar but different. and then there is tumblr, which I just discovered and is sort of like a cross between blogger and twitter.

so, in an effort to stay up-to-speed with technology i've joined that as well.
i think i prefer blogger, because it's more of a blogging site, with actual entries and everything like that. but tumblr could also be fun. and they have awesome layouts.

(un)luckily, graduate school really begs for me to procrastinate as often as i can, so i do my best to hold up my end of the bargain.

01 October 2009

Best investment - ever! (and I got married!)

 So, I got married over the weekend. Which is one of the «many» reasons that I haven't had anything to say about any books lately. And it was a glorious weekend.

We made the bouquets ourselves

Brett and I are most likely wrapping the bouquets in wire at this point. Rachael, Brett and I headed to the Farmer's Market early in the morning, bought many flowers and then assembled the bouquets in the hotel room. They lasted through the pictures, and some through the reception. Which is what they're supposed to do, right?

We got married by our friend, Monica

Of course, she also brought wine to the hotel room for the "getting ready" portion of the day.  Monica did a fantastic job, and I'm so lucky that she was willing to get ordained for this day. There were spices of humor in the form of asking me to repeat, "I Nicole, take you Sean, to be my wife" - hilarious! And it was super meaningful, because she's great.
Thanks, Monica!

And there was much more. BUT the Best Investment of the wedding was BY FAR the photo-booth.

It was the only real "splurge" of the wedding, because we were trying to keep it pretty low-key and affordable because, at the end of the day, it's a day. It's a party. I wouldn't go bankrupt over a party, I wouldn't ask my parents to do so, either.

Like I said, we made our own bouquets (and boutonnieres). We printed (though printable press designed) our own invitations. I designed and constructed (with the help of friends, particularly Rachael) the programs, place cards, centerpieces (thanks for the help on that one, mom), and favors (our kitchen turned into a bakery the week of the wedding - and then there was the Great Macaroon Incident of 2009).  And I think that, overall, it made the experience really personal, and I hope that people knew the personal touches were so that we made them feel connected to us, and we felt connected to the day, because it really helped keep everything in perspective when I thought about it from the point of view of, "well, do I want ___ enough to do it myself?"

And, honestly, I couldn't have been more pleased with the way the wedding went.

So, the photobooth. Amazing. It let everyone show their own personal style. Do what they wanted to do. Be silly. Memorialize themselves in their best and worst moments at the same time. And it was a huge success.  I would DEFINITELY recommend using the traveling photobooth for any event, not even just a wedding. We got a Guest Book out of it: each trip into the booth produced two strips - one for the person to take home as a souvenir, and one was stuck into the guest book, where they could write a message and make it something personal. And the day after, it was SO MUCH FUN to look through all the pictures and have a laugh at the faces, and enjoy the words of wisdom. Which sometimes are just inside jokes, but still amazing.

I've always wanted a photobooth in my house. This really solidified that for me.  I'll try to update with some more photos of the details, and when they arrive, the pictures from the wedding. But for now, I guess it's back to business as usual.